Advice and Guidance for new National Qualifications: the nature of risk

A theme which comes through in a number of the new National Qualifications for sciences is that of risk, risks and benefits, and risk management. What does this look like for the learner? Is it a list of pros and cons or something more sophisticated?

In a BBC article from the Go Figure series, the question is posed “How risky is it if you don’t know the risks?” which explores this in the context of understanding the ‘risk’ of mobile phone use.  The article was published in June 2011 but of course the issue of mobile phone ‘risk’ was raised again in the media very recently. This could also be the basis for discussion around risks associated with

radioactivity, in the context of the Advice and Guidance for Nuclear Chemistry, or Nuclear Physics

different energy sources and energy security within Physics or Environmental Science

developments in DNA science in our Health and Disease, or Inheritance Advice and Guidance.

New Advice and Support for Secondary Schools

 As you will no doubt know, the SQA have published their final documents for National 2 – Higher.  In order to support schools in the delivery of key aspects of the new qualifications, Education Scotland has  published a suite of practical advice and guidance for teachers and lecturers.  

There are new materials to help practitioners deliver their national 4 and 5 courses, although with some amendment, practitioners  could use these materials at other levels too.  They are designed to be skilled focussed to help teachers and lecturers  integrate the skills of listening and talking, reading and writing.  Practitioners can also use the ideas and suggestions to apply them to their own materials as they see fit.

The National 4 materials are based on five episodes of an audio book called “Mike Martin et le Grand Jeu” and the National 5 materials  includes a video of three young French people discussing the contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture.  Both sets of documents include extensive exemplification, advice and guidance for practitioners and notes for learners.

I think all practitioners who will be delivering the new qualifications will find them useful and would be delighted to receive your feedback.  To access the advice and support from Education Scotland please click here

To access the SQA website pages containing the final documents for Modern Languages please click here

STEM Central Water water everywhere…engineering solutions needed!

Whether you are working with the STEM Central Flood Management learning journeys in the context of social sciences, technologies or maths, or planning learning and teaching around themes of sustainability for new National Qualifications, this article published in The Telegraph, by James Dyson “Engineering can save us from drought” might provide information or inspiration. Perhaps you could use this year’s Dyson Challenge as a basis for learning, maybe your learners hold the key to saving water for a more sustainable future?

If your learners are considering the current drought and flood situation in large parts of England, why not use it as an opportunity to explore the role of engineers in sustainability? We would love to hear your ideas on our STEM Central in Motion blog.

ScranMeet 1 featuring Jackie Sangster

ScranMeet 1 – An introduction to interdisciplinary learning images, Thursday 3 May, 3.45 pm,

Join us in CPD Central for our inaugural ScranMeet to find out how you can acquire imagery and information from the Scran website. Discover diverse content and resources both local and global, to illuminate CfE projects right across the curriculum. The Scran Meet will consist of an introductory presentation by education officer and former teacher, Jackie Sangster followed by some Q&A.

Swiss and Basque schools seeks Scottish partners

A French-speaking school near Basel in Switzerland is looking for a Scottish secondary school partner – for joint learning projects, shared language learning, etc.  Their students are in the 16-18 age bracket.

And a Basque school in Oinati, northern Spain, is also seeking a Scottish secondary for possible joint projects in language, culture or science, and maybe an exchange programme or Comenius project in the future. Aagin, their students are around 16-18.

If your school is interested in a link with either of these two schools, contact Nick at for more details.

New resource site launched for CLD practitioners

The CLD Standards Council has developed a web-based framework to support creative and innovative learning and development for CLD practitioners.  i-develop is part of the Standards Council CPD Strategy, “A Learning Culture for the Community Learning and Development Sector in Scotland”, and is based on the values, principles, skills and competences they need as communities, individuals and employers.

The Framework integrates the theories and practices that help shape effective CPD for the CLD sector, such as peer sharing, communities of practice, learning journeys and reflection-in-action in order to shape a learning community of practitioners across CLD.  i-develop is free to access and open to all CLD practitioners – full time staff, part time and sessional workers, volunteers, activists, students, managers, leaders, new hands and those more experienced.

The CLD Standards Council is now looking for local champions to promote i-develop to colleagues, partners and networks in their area. If you are interested in becoming a champion, please contact Alan Milson.

Youth Scotland launches new national leadership opportunity for young women

On Friday 6th April, Youth Scotland’s Girls on the Move programme launched the first national Sports Leaders UK Level 2 Award in Dance Leadership course.  This new course has been established by Youth Scotland, the network of youth clubs and groups, in partnership with Sports Leaders UK. Part of Youth Scotland’s Girls on the Move programme, the Level 2 course provides a progression route for young female leaders to develop their skills as community practitioners.

17 young women, aged between 16 and 22 took part in the first course at Kilgraston School in Perth. They came from areas across Scotland including: Alness, Edinburgh, Fort William, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Perth, Nairn, North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and South Ayrshire. Throughout the course participants received training in working with groups, leading sessions and choreography. Following the course, the young women will be supported by local dance and youth organisations to undertake voluntary placements in their own communities.

Addressing the barriers that prevent young women from participating in physical activity, Girls on the Move provides support to young women in communities across Scotland, particularly those from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.   For more opportunities for young leaders, including details of forthcoming Level 2 opportunities, visit the Youth Scotland website or contact Rebecca Simpson, Youth Active Manager, at

Community-led health case studies

 3 new case studies of community-led health have been developed by CHEX.  These outline the process by which community-led approaches to health lead to better health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals.  They can be downloaded by clicking on the following links:

Read more about the Community-led health for all resource here.